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Walmart's Asda unit sees U.K. sales rise

Walmart Inc.'s U.K. unit, Asda, achieved the strongest sales among Britain's four supermarket chains during the Christmas shopping season, two research firms reported Tuesday.

Market researcher Nielsen said Asda, which is in the process of being sold to rival Sainsbury's, saw sales rise 0.8 percent over the previous year for the 12 weeks ending Dec. 29. Sainsbury's fell 0.6 percent. Sales at Tesco, the U.K.'s leading supermarket chain, rose 0.4 percent, while Morrisons dropped 0.1 percent.

All lost ground to discount grocers Aldi and Lidl, whose sales increased 11.7 percent and 13.6 percent, respectively.

Kantar Worldpanel had slightly different figures for the 12 weeks ending Dec. 30. Kantar reported Asda's sales up 0.7 percent, followed by Tesco with a 0.6 percent gain. Sainsbury's fell 0.4 percent, and Morrisons gained 0.1 percent.

Mike Watkins, Nielsen's U.K. head of retailer insight, said in a news release that consumers' grocery-shopping habits are changing. Rather than doing all their shopping in one big trip, he said, they prefer more frequent, smaller trips spread among retailers to increase choice.

-- Serenah McKay

Sign-ups underway for teacher workshop

Registration for a one-day training session for Arkansas teachers of economics to students in ninth-12th grades is underway.

The Teaching Free Enterprise in Arkansas workshop will be in Hot Springs on Jan. 26 from 8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m., a news release said Tuesday. Teachers will receive six hours of professional-development credit upon completion.

Attendees can hear economics lectures and participate in sessions with economists.

The workshop is made possible by a partnership between Economics Arkansas, a private, nonprofit organization funded by state-based corporate donor groups, and the Arkansas Center for Research in Economics at the University of Central Arkansas.

Stipends are available for teachers who travel to the workshop. Registration, and more information, is available at

-- Nathan Owens

State index up 6.34; only one stock drops

The Arkansas Index, a price-weighted index that tracks the largest public companies based in the state, gained 6.34 to 390.31 Tuesday.

All but one stock rose for the day.

"The S&P 500 climbed to a three-week high on Tuesday, led by Apple, Amazon, Facebook and a rally in industrials on investor hope that the United States and China would strike a deal to end a trade war," said Chris Harkins, managing director with Raymond James & Associates in Little Rock.

Total volume for the index was 19.8 million shares.

The index was developed by Bloomberg News and the Democrat-Gazette with a base value of 100 as of Dec. 30, 1997.

Business on 01/09/2019

Print Headline: News in brief

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